Speed Reads

white house drama

Trump reportedly blasted Mick Mulvaney over shutdown negotiations in front of congressional leaders

During a meeting attended by top Democratic and Republican leaders, President Trump jumped at the opportunity to take a swipe at his acting chief of staff and the way he is handling the government shutdown, two people with knowledge of the matter told Axios.

Things got awkward at the end of a Jan. 4 meeting held in the White House Situation Room, attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). After Vice President Mike Pence asked Democrats for $2.5 billion for the wall Trump promised would be built along the southern border, Trump demanded $5.7 billion, Axios reports. Mulvaney suggested they try to settle on a number somewhere in the middle, and that irked Trump.

One person in the room told Axios the president told Mulvaney, "You just f--ked it all up, Mick." It was "kind of weird," the person added. Another meeting attendee said Trump was annoyed by Mulvaney's negotiating tactics, adding, "Mick was not reading the room." A White House official who was present during the incident told Axios the whole thing has been "exaggerated," and "the president and Mulvaney joked about it afterwards."